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Waterbirth and blue baby

3086 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Hayes
My sister is convinced that my very blue baby was blue due to my water birth. She thinks water birth is dangerous, and there has got to be a really good reason that hospitals don't allow it for the most part (at least most don't allow underwater deliveries). I am fairly certain that my DD was blue because her cord was wrapped pretty tightly around her neck twice, and around her body once as well. I don't think her blueness had anything to do with being born in water. I would like to send her some information backing up what I already know-- that waterbirth is safe. I'm not expecting her to change her mind (she won't) but I want her to see some information about why waterbirth is safe, and provides a comfortable birthing environment not just for mom, but for baby as well.

She also doensn't believe me that DD's apgars were 7 and 8, because according to her she was extremely blue and listless (she WAS pretty blue, but mostly on her feet, and I wouldn't say at 1 minute she was listless, maybe for 30 seconds while she figured out the whole breathing thing).

Any good links to send her that will help her see how safe water birth is? And why is it that most hospitals don't allow underwater births?

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babies - whether born on land or in water - do not emerge pink. infact, there is some purple-ness to them until they take that first breath and their lungs expand, re-route the blood, etc.

babies born in water tend to take longer to pink up because they are not jarred into HAVING to breathe right away...the warm water on the cord and the smooth transition from water inutero to outside means that they're less pissy and take a bit longer. this, however, is NOT a bad thing.

there is a train of thought among those of us that do alot of waterbirths that the whole color thing should be looked at differently - as well as the time it takes baby to breathe. these things are not dangerous - it's the same as thinking that we should smack all babies to startle them into breathing right away rather than letting them transition on their own. for some providers - even homebirth midwives - having a baby take 30 seconds longer to start breathing isn't acceptable, but that's just a bias. it's NOT dangerous unless the baby has serious issues to start with.

if your sister has real concerns, she should contact Barbara Harper at Global Maternal Child Health. however, if you're just wanting to change her mind, you may have a long road ahead of you.
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all babies are pretty blueish at birth. It takes some a little longer to pink up. no big so long as they do. trust me when they are blue and limp and 1 and 5 minutes you know it. And once you have seen it you wouldn't mistake it for a kid who took a few seconds to come around and wake up in thier own good time.
DS was a little bluish, maybe more gray I guess at birth. There was nothing wrong with him and he started breathing. There's a picture linked in my signature that was taken just as he was handed to me from the water, and his color is anything but pink.
And his APGARs were 9 and 10.
The reason hospitals don't do water births is because they're inconvenient. Have you seen some of the positions midwives have to get into in order to catch a water baby? Or even to monitor via doppler? In the hospital its all about ease... for the OB. That's why they try to get women on their backs in stirrups, so they can pull up a stool and be straight at the recieving end. Waterbirth is the safest, gentlest way to give birth and be given birth to. Some people just won't listen to reason though. I fight the homebirth battle with my entire family... I know how it is! Anyway, there's nothing wrong with your "blue" baby! Like everyone said, babies who aren't jarred into breathing right away from hitting cold air and rough hands and having their oxygen and blood supply cut off at the moment of birth can afford to take their time getting the breathing thing down!
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Blue is good. I don't mind seeing a baby bluish.

Now, white and pale I don't like.
Another reason hospitals don't like you to actually birth in the water is because it would be too hard to clean and disinfect between users...our hospital has a tub (in a concrete corner closet
) to labour in, but you have to come out to deliver (man am I glad i opted not to deliver there).

So it's not that water births aren't safe, it's that they're inconvenient to Dr.s and can't be disenfected (I'm talking about a jacuuzzi type tub with jets and that, not a birthing tub that can be rented for a home water birth)
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I looked into this pretty substantially too. I am very excited for my upcoming water birth!

Here's a good link:

And another:

Michael Odent has written lots o stuff about water birth. But here are the benefits in a nutshell:

Agreed with pps who said hospitals can't be bothered to accomodate women to do a water birth. It's not that they are inherently dangerous, it's that they have a harder time shining a bright light on your vagina so nine hospital personnel can peer up into it.
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Babies are supposed to be blue. The blood in their systems hasn't been oxygenated yet. The oxygen makes the blood red. Once they start breathing well on their own, they pink up. Simple science.
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